Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Testimony of God's Grace

My name is Timothy Munther and I am 21 years old. My bboy name is Veritaz (derived from the latin word “veritas,” which means truth). I like to break dance, rock climb, do flips off stuff, snow board, surf, etc. But more importantly, I am a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, and thus one who has a personal relationship with God; and I have to share about the reality of truth that I have come to know and experience via the Bible. I have to share it because if I did not that would be a direct contradiction of my faith and devotion to love God and to love others in a real and meaningful way.

Death is a scary aspect of life, yet we all have to face it some day. What is even more frightening is what may happen after death. When I was confronted with the truth of my eternal destiny in light of what the Bible said, I was frightened. I recognized that I had sinned before a good and just God and that the wages of my sin were death as it says in Romans 6:23. To be totally honest I raised Cain through out my elementary school years. Although I did not get into the party scene when I was a teenager (mainly because I became a Christian when I just turned 14), I was a rebellious, thieving, lying vandal who would make most kids look like angels around my young age.

When I was about 13 years old, I knew that (just like everybody else in this world, I had) fallen short of God’s perfect standard. I came face to face with God’s moral law, His Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:3-17. I knew that I had violated all of them in one way or another. I did not always acknowledge God as God and the reverence and devotion that was due to Him. I fashioned (in my mind) a false image of God and committed idolatry. I took His holy and precious name in vain. I dishonored my parents time and time again. Even though I have never murdered anyone, I recognized that the hatred in my heart towards some people has the same origins of the hatred that accompanies murder. Again, even though I have never committed adultery, I knew that I was guilty of transgressing this commandment when I read that Christ said that he whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart. I stole things, I lied, and I coveted things that did not belong to me.

In other words, I was a sinner. When I died I knew that I had to face God on judgment day, and I already knew the verdict of whether or not I was guilty or innocent. I knew I had true moral guilt and there was no way to rationalize it; I felt it deep within me. I knew of the penalty that if I were to die in my current state I would suffer the eternal consequences of my sin and go to hell, eternally separated from God and eternally separated from all that is good and lovely. I knew that God was angry with me as He is with all humans because we have rebelled against His moral code. As a result, we will be punished for our rebellion, selfishness, sin, trespasses, iniquity, etc. on an individual basis. (What I mean by individual is that everyone is accountable for their own life before God.) Romans 2:5 says, “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” This is where the law of God left me – in a position where God is furious with me and I will pay the penalty of suffering in hell for eternity. Romans 3:19-20 “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Also, Romans 7:7 - “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’.”

When I was confronted with this truth, I feared God, knowing that I was at His mercy if there would be any remedy for my condition. But, I eternally thank God because He is rich in mercy and grace. God’s amazing love was manifested through Jesus. God came to earth as the man Jesus Christ, fulfilled the law by living a perfect life, gave his life as a sacrifice for my sins by being crucified, and then conquered death by resurrecting three days later. As a sinner, I was obligated to pay my fine in full by suffering in hell for eternity, but Christ paid that fine for me and suffered the penalty that I rightfully deserved. The Bible says that to be forgiven and have the hope of eternal life with God, one must repent (turn away from sin and towards God) and place their sincere faith and trust in Jesus – that His sacrifice paid their penalty. I repented from my sin and put my faith and trust in Jesus, and I no longer have to fear death because I have the hope of eternal life. I no longer am guilty before God, but stand forgiven based on the work that He has done through Jesus’ death.

I do not know where you stand before God. Only you know where you stand. Please carefully consider the thoughts I have shared with you. I do not tell others about this truth from any conceited position, but with humility and a genuine concern. How do you see yourself in light of the Ten Commandments and whether or not you will be guilty or innocent on Judgment Day? I knew that I had fallen way short of that perfect law. One aspect regarding God’s law is that it does not help you, its leaves you helpless. The law does not justify you; it leaves you guilty before Almighty God. Therefore, the worst possible thing you could do would be to try to keep God’s law in order to appease Him. God does not want people to appease Him. He wants them to humbly bow before Him and come to the understanding that there is nothing that they can do to attain favor with Him except put their faith in the forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Because God is a good and just God, He cannot simply overlook our sins – someone needs to pay the penalty, and that is what Christ did. God knows our condition and because He loves us and does not want us to go to hell, but rather wants us to enjoy a relationship with Him on earth and then finally in Heaven, He has this amazing plan by which we can be saved from this impending judgment.